6.3 DEPARTMENT OF
ART AND ART HISTORY (ART AND ART HISTORY)
Chairperson: Professor Thomas Wolfe,
Office: 103 Garland Hall
The Department of Art and Art History offers programs leading to the master of arts
(studio), the master of arts (art history), and the master of fine
arts (studio). The major studio areas in the department are
ceramics, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. (The
content of individual courses may be diverse and vary from
traditional designations.) Concentrations within art history are
offered in Renaissance, Baroque, 19th-century,
20th-century/Contemporary, and South/Southeast Asian and East Asian art.
Credits earned at accredited institutions may be transferred. Such
transfers will be determined after completion at the University of
at least 12 semester hours, or one term in residence, and upon
review by the student's faculty committee. Graduate courses in both
art history and art studio are normally taught only in the fall and
Applicants to all graduate programs must satisfy admission policies
established by the Graduate School of The University of Alabama,
listed earlier in this catalog. (The Graduate School does not
require the MAT or GRE for admission to the graduate program in
studio art; the GRE general test is required for admission to the
graduate program in art history.) All application materials should
be sent to the dean of the Graduate School at the time of
application. Letters of recommendation should be sent to the
Graduate Coordinator of the program to which the student is
applying. Each studio program applicant must submit a comprehensive
portfolio of work directly to the art department. The portfolio
should include a minimum of 20 works of art in the proposed major
(chosen from the areas listed above). Only CDs containing the
applicant’s artwork are to be accepted. It is recommended that a
prospective graduate student hold a degree in art, having maintained
a "B" average in art. Conditional acceptance into the program is
possible. Upon completion of cited deficiencies the student would be
granted full admission. All studio art students enter the MA-level
graduate program. Residency is required of all studio art students.
The ideal prospective graduate student in art history holds the BA
degree with a major in art history. All applicants
should have completed 24 semester hours in undergraduate art history
courses and courses in related subjects, having maintained a "B"
average. An applicant
not meet these minimum admission requirements but is found to be
acceptable in every other way may be offered
conditional acceptance into the program.
Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more
Master of Arts Degree in Studio Art
All new studio art students enter the MA program. The MA degree
in studio art requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours
of graduate work, including at least 6 hours in art history, 15
hours in a major studio field, 3 hours of graduate seminar, 3 hours
of graduate critiques, and 3 hours of art studio electives.
A thesis exhibition, written statement, and
an oral review are required for successful completion of the
program. The degree program must be completed within six years.
Master of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art
Admission to the master of fine arts program is by recommendation of
a faculty review committee, which meets at the time of the
candidate's MA thesis exhibition. The committee will recommend
that the candidate continue within the MFA program or finalize
studies at the University with a completed MA degree.
The MFA degree requires the completion of a minimum of 60
semester hours of graduate work, including at least 9 hours of art
history, 30 hours in a major studio area, 6 hours Graduate Seminar,
6 hours Graduate Critiques, and 9 hours in art history or art studio
electives. The degree must be completed within six years of entering
graduate program. A graduate student may select a minor studio
concentration of study or choose a variety of graduate-level classes
offered within the art department or approved graduate-level
elective courses. Candidacy for the MFA degree is
based on the delivery of a public lecture by the candidate
addressing his or her research in visual arts. Successful candidacy
is achieved when the candidate has proven able to defend his or her
research clearly and coherently. The candidate must demonstrate
proficiency in addition to displaying personal direction in his or
her chosen area of study.
A thesis exhibition is presented at the end of the candidate's final
term. During the exhibition, an oral examination is conducted by the
student's faculty committee. At that time, the candidate defends
their exhibition and written statement.
Review procedure. A graduate review committee is established
by each graduate student. The committee consists of no fewer than
four faculty members but may have an unlimited number of approved
graduate faculty. Required appointees to this committee include the
department chairperson (director of graduate studies), the major
area professor, an art historian, and another art studio faculty
member. The chairperson of the committee is the student's major area
Master of Arts Degree in Art
The MA in art history requires completion of 24 semester hours in
art history, of which 6 hours may be taken in a related field.
Courses are grouped into six general areas: Renaissance, Baroque,
19th-century, 20th-century/Contemporary, South/Southeast Asian and
East Asian art. Students
must take courses in at least two of the six areas, as well as ARH 550
Literature of Art. Students registered on The University of Alabama
campus must take at least 6 hours of coursework at The University of
Alabama at Birmingham.
Further requirements include (a) a
reading knowledge of French, German, or another approved language,
tested by examination; (b) a general written examination in art
history prepared and read by the joint faculty; and (c) a written
thesis (minimum of 6 hours).
The MA degree must be completed within a six-year period--the
Graduate School's time limit for all master's degrees--and to avoid
loss of graduate credit for completed coursework.
Additional information is in the
Degree Requirements section of this catalog.
Art, Studio (ART)
ART 502 Studio Art. Three hours.
Prerequisites: Twelve undergraduate hours in the specific studio
field requested, review of portfolio, and permission of the
This course is open only to graduate students who are not enrolled
in a graduate program in the Department of Art.
The prerequisite for the following 500-level courses is graduate
standing in art in the specific studio field (as determined by a
review of the faculty committee and the permission of the department
chairperson and instructor). Courses are offered for 3–6 hours each
semester, except for ART 506 and ART 508, which are offered for 3
hours each semester.
ART 506 Independent Studies. Three hours (each semester).
Students may make proposals for projects not taught in the regular
curriculum. These must be approved by a faculty sponsor and the
chairperson of the department.
ART 508 Special Projects. Three hours.
Special projects course titles include Alternative Photographic
Process, Photo-based Printmaking, Water Media on Paper, Figurative
Modeling and Sculpture, Experimental Drawing and The Photographic
ART 510 Advanced Drawing Seminar. Three hours.
The focus of this course will be the study and production of
drawings as an activity that documents our memories, examines and
explains the world around us, transforms our perceptions of time and
space, and helps us invent new ways of seeing and thinking.
ART 511 Graduate Seminar. Three hours.
A critical examination of contemporary issues, philosophies,
criteria, and ideas in art.
ART 525/ART 625 Graduate Critiques. Three hours.
This course examines the studio practice through critical discourse,
defending and discussing aesthetic philosophy and its application to
research in the visual arts.
ART 530 Problems and Techniques for Teaching Studio Foundations.
Graduate students will acquire expertise with teaching concepts and
techniques relative to studio foundations teaching.
ART 602 Studio Art. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Six hours of ART 502. Open only to graduate students
who are not enrolled in a graduate program in the Department of Art.
ART 606 Independent Studies. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Six hours of ART 506. Students may make proposals for
projects not taught in the regular curriculum. These must be
approved by a faculty sponsor and the chairperson of the department.
The studio courses listed below carry 2–6 hours of credit each
semester; credit for more than 3 hours, however, requires permission
of a faculty sponsor and the department chairperson. 500-level
courses are repeatable in preparation for the MA degree. 600-level
courses are repeatable in preparation for the MFA degree.
ART 512/ART 612 Ceramics.
The ceramics program has a fully equipped facility with a complete
inventory of clay and glaze materials. Facilities include equipment
for clay mixing and preparation; workstations for forming and
throwing; gas, wood fire, raku, and electric kilns; and materials
for experimental kiln construction. Personal instruction is given in
all forming techniques, glaze calculations, and firings. Students
are encouraged to experiment with the medium and explore new
processes. Emphasis is placed on the student's development of
concepts and forms.
ART 516/ART 616 Painting.
The primary goal of the painting program is to enhance the student's
ability in conceiving of a strong personal vision. The program
defines painting as a complex and vital art form that exists in a
state of constant flux, a tradition that is both mired in history
and capable of regularly redefining itself. It equally embraces
students who define painting as a practice that goes far beyond the
brush, and those who employ more traditional methodologies.
ART 518/ART 618 Photography.
Photography is viewed as a means of personal expression and
exploration, emphasizing development of the student's vision.
Instruction is individually tailored and, although the facilities
are designed for black and white printing, the exploration of
alternative applications is encouraged. Graduate students are
expected to increase their knowledge of the history of photography
and contemporary art, and participate in teaching undergraduates.
Facilities include a film developing area, two darkrooms, and a
critique space. Computers are accessed through the digital media
ART 520/ART 620 Printmaking.
Graduate printmaking is conducted in a workshop situation, including
group critiques and technical demonstrations. The program philosophy
embraces a broad spectrum of activities relating to the idea of the
multiple and the history of printed material. Students are expected
to master traditional techniques and encouraged to work in an
interdisciplinary manner, exploring the boundaries of the media
area. The facility comprises equipment for intaglio and relief
printing, stone and plate lithography, screen printing, and
ART 522/ART 622 Sculpture.
The sculpture program allows students to work with an extensive
range of media and processes while emphasizing conceptual
development and refined technical ability. Sculpture encompasses
traditional media, methods, and processes as well as technologies
that can be adapted to sculptural activities, idioms, and forms.
Facilities include a full wood shop, metal fabrication shop,
foundry, critique/installation room, and graduate studio space.
Art History (ARH)
A maximum of 6 semester hours of 400-level courses may be taken
for graduate credit in the art history master's degree program. The
remainder of the coursework for the MA must be taken at the 500
level. In addition, 6 hours of courses must be taken at The
University of Alabama at Birmingham. Any 400-level course may be
taken for graduate credit at either institution.
Courses at the 500 level are taught at The University of Alabama
and The University of Alabama at Birmingham and may be taken at
either institution. The following courses (except for ARH 598 and
ARH 599) are seminars; the content of each seminar will vary with
the instructor. A student may take any seminar twice for credit.
Two-thirds of the coursework for the MA must be taken at the 500
level. The following 500-level courses are offered at The University of
ARH 550 Literature of Art. Three hours.
Principles and methodology of the discipline as described in the
writing of its founders and chief makers; bibliographical research
method and mastery. Required of all art history MA students.
ARH 554 Research in Art History. Three hours.
ARH 555 Asian Seminar. Three hours.
ARH 556 The Arts of Buddhism. Three hours.
ARH 561 Critical Theory. Three hours.
ARH 565 Renaissance Seminar. Three hours.
ARH 570 Baroque Seminar. Three hours.
ARH 575 19th-Century Seminar. Three hours.
ARH 580 20th-Century Seminar. Three hours.
ARH 598 Independent Study. Three hours.
ARH 599 Thesis Research. One to three hours.